What is a feature story?
A feature story...
a) tells the reader a story
b) uses quotes liberally
c) allows the reader to see the story through detailed description and vivid writing
d) adds color, educates, entertains, illuminates, and humanizes an issue
e) may or may not be tied to a current event
Are there different types of features? Below are just 3. Look at the following PowerPoint for more:
Types of Features
Topic focused: Explain, analyze, expand on a current event or issue
Examples: Document a trend in society. How people are dealing with the flu season. Localizing an event to the target audience.
Who would be interviewed? People that are directly involved with the topic/issue; people who have expertise with the topic; people who can provide anecdotal information.
Informational: Giving information about a certain relevant topic
Examples: History of the school. How to buy a good car stereo. What you should know before you apply to college.
Who would be interviewed? People that are directly involved with the topic, people who have expertise with the topic; people who can provide anecdotal information
Profile: Someone who has an interesting story to tell, who may be involved or have experience with some timely event or issue. Only focuses on one person.
Examples: A Day in the Life of a Principal. A founder of a new business. Someone who has been affected by something in the news at the moment.
Who would be interviewed? An extensive interview with the person of interest; any other person who might add an interesting perspective into that person's story.
Lead: hooks reader; gets them interested in the story
Quote: can be used her to demonstrate a personality or opinion from the lead
Nutshell Paragraph: explains to the reader why this story is important enough to be told (why it's newsworthy)
Quote: used to expand on story's purpose or to move the story into a certain direction
Transition: used to explain background information or to move the story into a certain direction
Then----a series of quotes and transition to tell the whole story
Closing: Leaves the reader with something to ponder or brings story full circle.
3 ways to close: 1) a quote that sums up story's importance or looks to the future, 2) what's next for those involved, 3) ties back to/references details within the lead to bring the story full circle
Practice: Using a feature story, answer the following questions within your group.
1. In the story you read, IDENTIFY how it began (anecdote, description of scene, description of a source, etc.) Here are the different types of leads recognized in journalistic writing. What makes this lead good or bad? (Lead choices: narrative/anecdote, descriptive, startling statement, contrast & compare, question, twist, direct address.)
2. CITE three examples from the story that use Background information that the writer had to collect before interviewing anyone for the article. (This should be information that the writer could find out before talking to anyone.) For each example, EXPLAIN how you think that information helped him/her develop interview questions.
3. IDENTIFY the most interesting quotes. LIST at least 5 examples. These examples can be from any of the stories. What sort of questions do you imagine that the writer had to ask in order to solicit these quotes? FORMULATE a question for each quote.
4. FIND three places where the author thoroughly described a person, place, or object. Why would these descriptions be beneficial.?
5. EXPLAIN how the story ended. Did this story provide you with a sense of closure? Why or why not?
6. CREATE an outline to explain the order in which the author told the story. DESCRIBE the author's story angle and the story's purpose/value. Hint: Look after the lead in...